Tuesday, June 18, 2013

***GIVEWAY** Interview with Diane Kelly author of Death Taxes and Hot Pink Legwarmers––"In my job as an assistant attorney general I represented the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy in disciplinary actions against CPAs. I was fairly young and naïve at the time, and was shocked to discover how much white-collar crime was taking place and that CPAs were actively involved in perpetuating all types of financial frauds."


One entrant US only will win a copy of this novel to enter use the Rafflecopter widget below.

Here’s what folks are saying about the Death & Taxes series;
“As usual, the pace is quick without being frenetic, and the breezy narrative style is perfection—fun and sexy without being over the top.” —RT Book Reviews

“Diane Kelly knows how to rock the romance, and roll the story right into a delightful mix of high drama with great characters.” —The Reading Reviewer
Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte was awarded the 2012 Single Titles Reviewers Choice Award!

 A recipient of the 2009 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, she has received more than two dozen RWA chapter awards. Diane’s fiction, tax and humor pieces have appeared in True Love Magazine, Writer’s Digest Yearbook, Romance Writers Report, Byline Magazine, and other publications.
Diane tell us a bit about your newest in the Tara Holloway series Death, Taxes and Hot Pink Leg Warmers.
Where did the idea for the series come from?
My book ideas always start with a character. I was attending a 3-day tax seminar several years ago and by the third day it was all I could do not to crawl under the table and take a nap. Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney took the podium and immediately grabbed my attention. He discussed how difficult it was to defend clients accused of tax evasion because the IRS employed a team of special agents who were sharp and savvy and knew how to build a solid case. Though I’d been in the tax industry for 15 years by that point, I’d never heard of IRS special agents. I was immediately intrigued and thought, “Hey! An IRS special agent would make a great character for a novel!” 

Do you have a certain number of Death & Taxes novels in mind?
To date I’ve been contracted for a total of 9 full-length novels plus two digital novellas.  I don’t have an end in mind yet.  I enjoy writing Tara’s stories so much I’d love to continue until she’s forced kicking and screaming into retirement! 

I have to ask, how did your career go from state assistant attorney to romance/mystery writer?
In my job as an assistant attorney general I represented the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy in disciplinary actions against CPAs. I was fairly young and naïve at the time, and was shocked to discover how much white-collar crime was taking place and that CPAs were actively involved in perpetuating all types of financial frauds. I became fascinated with white-collar criminals. Why do they do it? Are they greedy? Power-hungry? Egomaniacs? Sociopaths? I was also intrigued by their complex and complicated scams.
The writing bug came back to bite me at that time, too. I’d always loved writing as a young girl, and I missed the creative fun of wordplay. My two worlds came together and it seemed only natural to explore white-collar crime in my novels.

You’ve also written a stand-a-lone Love, Luck and Little Green Men just out in March of 2013.
Do you plan more stand-a-lone novels?
Love, Luck, and Little Green Men is a quirky one-off that I wrote back before I sold my Tara Holloway series, when I was exploring who I was as a writer. Although I had fun writing it and have some similar ideas for offbeat romantic comedies, I have no immediate plans to write more stand-alone books. My publisher keeps me on a tight schedule with my Tara Holloway series and there’s simply not enough time in the day!

What are you working on now?
I’m working on a new romantic mystery series that will launch in 2014. The series will feature a rookie female police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, who is assigned to work with a female K-9. Hilarity ensues when the two battle for dominance as they pursue bad guys and love. We haven’t decided on a title for the series yet, though “Fort Worth Fuzz” has been bandied about.  

Tell us about your street team and can we join?
My street team is a group of avid readers who’ve enjoyed my books and share information about the novels  with their reader friends. It’s a grassroots way to spread the word about the novels and share the fun! I offer occasional promo items for the team members to pass out and freebies to thank my street team members for their efforts.  The street team is open to anyone who’d like to join.  Here’s the link:  http://www.dianekelly.com/join-the-street-team/

If we had to slip your novels on a genre shelf, which one would they fall on?
My books are nearly equal parts romance and mystery, though they tend to be shelved in the mystery section since my main character is in law enforcement and the stories involve a crime element. Though many cozy mystery fans read my series, the books are much edgier and sexier than the typical cozy. My books tend to appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton.

You belong to many organizations;
Romance Writers of America, Killer Fiction Blog, Ruby Slippered Sisterhood to name a few.
What’s the biggest benefit for you as an author to belong to any of these organizations?
Joining Romance Writers of America (RWA) was the smartest decision I ever made as an aspiring writer. At my local chapter, I learned oodles about the writing process and the publishing industry, critical tidbits without which I might have never gotten published. My membership also put me in touch with other writers, a group of whom asked me to join them as part of the Killer Fiction group. We’ve recently shifted our blog to a Facebook fan page, which allows quick and easy interaction with readers and can be continuously updated with breaking news. https://www.facebook.com/KillerFictionWriters?ref=ts&fref=ts
The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood is the name the RWA Golden Heart contest finalists of 2009 gave ourselves.  We banded together for support and promotion, and run a fun blog at:  http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/
 I am also a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. These groups are wonderful places for a writer to network and to find support and information.

So if one of your friends or relatives read one of the novels. Would they find themselves between the pages anywhere?

Though none of my characters is based specifically on a single person, I do borrow personality traits from family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, who are my unwitting teachers in character study.  For instance, in Death, Taxes, and Hot Pink Leg Warmers, I have a scene where a woman goes a bit crazy with a handheld vacuum. My oldest sister is a neat freak and always keeps a Dustbuster at the ready. I borrowed that quirky trait from her.

Do you have any events or signings coming up to celebrate the new novel?
I have a signing at my local Barnes & Noble store at the Parks Mall in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, June 22nd from 1 – 3 PM.  I will also be signing books at the RWA conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, July 17th. The event is a huge multi-author signing to benefit literacy programs.  The signing will be held at the downtown Marriott Marquis hotel from 5:30 – 7:30.  Details are at: http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=564

Diane, thank you so much for chatting with me today. Good luck with the new novel!

Visit Diane's website here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Barnes & Noble


  1. This sounds great and I like the mix of romance and mystery, and how the character idea came to be!

    1. I know. Little did I know I was addressing a former assistant attorney general WOW.
      Thanks Kim

  2. this series is on my TBR pile....can't wait to start it soon!!!

    1. Hi cyn, thanks for the comment it looks great doesn't it.

  3. I love the Tara Holloway character. These books are so entertaining! Glad to read that there are more coming!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks bn and good luck!
      It's always good to see you comment on my blog :)